Privacy Advisor

In The News - IAPP Board Member Lauren Steinfeld Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives

July 1, 2006

Lauren Steinfeld, CIPP, Chief Privacy Officer for the University of Pennsylvania, recently testified on the subject of Social Security Numbers in Commerce - Reconciling Beneficial Uses with Threats to Privacy before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the U.S. House of Representatives. After citing her background contributing to the relevance to this discussion, Steinfeld spoke on risk and benefit examples of Social Security Numbers, and her view on H.R. 1078 and H.R. 1745 bills under consideration by this Committee.

"Social Security numbers are the closest thing we have to a national identifier and, by helping to link different data sources, they are often the key to advancing national priorities," Steinfeld said. "With the risks and benefits of Social Security numbers largely understood, the challenge in crafting legislation is how best to tackle the privacy concerns, without creating the unintended consequences of hindering fraud detection, law enforcement, national security, research and other significant priorities. In my personal opinion, the two bills being considered by the Committee strike the balance quite well in many respects."

Steinfeld also offered recommendations regarding rulemaking authority for future legislation.